[Continued from Save me some Pizza]
I lied to Sandra that I had to leave the house; she did not seem to care to question or she did not seem to want me to know she cared to question. Either way it worked perfect for me. I could see though that she thought she had me for the night, after the food, which wasn’t so bad; she must be taking some class or reading a blog or two, she brought out a duvet. The white one with pink flowers and threw it over her body. She was looking snug and warm and her breathing was slow. She had wanted to ask me to join her but she saw I had my shoes on. The blue leather suede ones she bought me for my birthday. So she did not ask, she just turned her attention to the television and stared. A long hard stare and then sighed. I could feel it coming, a question I did not want to answer.
What is it with women and such questions?
“Should I wait up?” she finally asked
She wanted to know if I would be back. She could’ve just asked. I would have told her the truth that she only has one bedroom. I don’t think she would have been okay sleeping on the couch; god knows I would not have been okay sleeping on the couch. And did she think we were going to sleep on the same bed? Is she mad? Overnight? These things do not just happen, there are boundaries, lines you don’t cross. And I am not her boyfriend that is a role for boyfriends. Sleeping on the couch in duvets and watching television and sleeping over. Boyfriend. But she should know by now that what we have is platonic. Okay, sure a kiss there a hug here but never more.
“No, I will see you next week.”
“What about it?”
You see Tuesday is her birthday and I have not forgotten but they get too sentimental when you remember. I have a choice here, be a jerk or be a boyfriend.
When I left she did not say another word, not even “take care”. I did not feel her eyes follow me out of the door like they usually do then linger as I turn to shut the door. Sometimes she blocks the door and pouts her lips, she’s pretty when she does that, and insists that there is a bottle of wine with my name on it.
“This one you will like.” She will say
“I don’t like any kind of wine, you know that.”
“But this one is different. You just have to try it.”
And sometimes I wonder if we are talking about wine or her. You know they can do that? Make you think you are talking about something else but in real sense you are talking about her and you. You will agree to a glass of wine, just one and it won’t even be that good and you find yourself the next morning married with two kids and a dog named simba.
I step out into the warm air of the night that seems to embrace me like I embrace my decision to stay single. There are no clouds and the stars are just stars. Just like the moon is just the moon. Everything is what it is when you’re not in love there’s no incessant need for poetic notions where it is not needed.
Phone rings. Text from Stacey.
The one with chicken or the one with the pineapples *wink face*
Stacey is different, she has a way of making things dirty even when they are not. Even when they shouldn’t be. It’s almost like she has it down to a science. Like the text, there’s no right or wrong answer. Also there’s no clean answer, she will find something. I think maybe that’s why I like her. Do I like her? Shit. Maybe I do. But it’s not such a bad thing liking someone. But I hope she doesn’t like me, it will make things easy. It’s always easier when one of you doesn’t like the other.
The one with chicken and the one with pineapples *smile face*
Okay I lied, I hope she likes me.
Her place is not far from Sandra’s; they’re practically neighbors. If Sandra and I had a thing I’d have left the car there and walked. Wait. No I wouldn’t have. What was I thinking? I would take the car, it’s better for Sandra to think I am going far and for Stacey to think I was coming from far. Win-win. But I know if they met they would not have liked each other; Stacey is a bit too overbearing. She goes around wearing an attitude that everyone likes her; and she acts like everyone likes her. I think she’s starting to believe that everyone likes her. Sandra is more reserved and calm, she speaks a lot with her eyes and if you really want to know what she’s saying you listen to what she’s not saying. Yeah, complicated to. Two complete opposites; water and fire. One just cannot exist with the other.
I see what you did there *smile face*
When you step into Stacey’s place her personality slaps you really hard. First on the right cheek then on the left; then it holds your face and rubs your cheeks and kisses you on the nose. She’s somewhere in the kitchen when I get there, I usually just turn the door knob and walk right in. The first time she told me I could do that I was a bit hesitant but she laughed it off.
“You’ve seen me naked haven’t you? What’s the big deal! It’s not like I am giving you keys to the house you can just come in when it’s open.”
I open the door and the first thing I notice is the place has had an uplift, she has new curtains. These are subtle not her usual floral print self. They are one color, a dark blue and are luxuriously heavy. From what I can hear she’s in the kitchen on her phone; loud as usual. I close the door behind me and walk to the seat, a black low set couch with puffy red throw pillows that hug your butt as soon as you sit on it. Spice girls is playing in the background; I don’t even remember the last time I heard the spice girls. Her taste in music is like Sandra’s cooking. I turn up the volume just so she knows I am there. It works.
Stacey walks into the living room with a white t-shirt with large black bold print on it and shorts shorter than a fly’s attention span. Her thighs are glistening with a wetness that indicates a fresh shower, she enters the room with a bubbly fragrance of lavender and fun. Her hair is worn in a frilly like afro. I get up to hug her and she plants a light kiss on my cheek.
“I’ve missed you.” She says
“I’ve missed you too.” I reply
She turns and walks back into the kitchen saying something as she goes. I think she asked about Sandra. Or maybe she said a friend was coming to join us. Or both. She babbles on so fast it is hard to keep up with whatever comes out of her mouth at times. So I just nod.
“Are you nodding?” she shouts from the kitchen
She knows me a bit too well with this been only our second month knowing each other, it scares me. What else does she know about me? Does she see through my mask? Through to my fears, hopes and dreams? The indecisive nature of my heart? The games I play?
“No I am not!” I shout back
“Did you also nod as you said that?”
“You did. Didn’t you?”
“Fuck you!” I say then we both laugh as she comes back into the living room falling squarely on my laps.
“So Stace, where’s the pizza?”
“You know these guys take forever yeah. He hasn’t come yet.”
“Is that why most blue movies have delivery guys?”
She looks at me and laughs.
“Look who’s catching on…”
We are good together. Funny. Perfect.
The pizza takes another thirty minutes to arrive. All this time we had been talking about everything; movies, music, Pokémon even her new curtains. At some point there is just silence. There is a woman on my lap, a woman I think I like. A woman I hope likes me back but a woman I am not ready to commit to. In every essence of the word she is beautiful, she wears her skin like a dinner dress she is comfortable in. She has an air of confidence around her that eludes many. She rests on my chest and listens to the songs playing. I look at her head, hair and wonder if it would be fair to her if we got a bit serious.
She might come to hate me if I led her on and left her hanging. Ladies like her are very vocal. It might involve a few scratches on the car, broken windows and posts on social media about the jerk I am. Then what next? I am not sure I am ready for such drama, I am not ready to commit. So what I am even doing here I don’t know. She’s getting cozy in her position; like she’s starting to like it. I can tell from the long deep breathing. I can’t let her get used to this; I never let anyone get used to it. Maybe I should tell her I need to go home; that something came up and avoid the whole pizza business.
“It’s the pizza guy” she announces as she gets up and does a little jog on her toes to the door to open.
I can smell the hot flavor of melted cheese and barbecued chicken waft into the living room. It feels like I am in heaven; if heaven is the house to a girl you’ve slept with but won’t date or marry is like. It’s bliss.
“Hey babe, do you have twelve hundred on you?”
Babe. That word. Haunting me.
“Sure let me bring it.”
“Sure let me bring it who?”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re supposed to say sure let me bring it babe.”
I have to nip this in the bud. But first pizza. Then her.
“Sure let me bring it babe.”